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Richard Zeller (Baritone)

Born: USA

One of America's foremost baritones, Richard Zeller is internationally acclaimed for both his concert and opera roles. He is known for his sonorous dramatic voice, a compelling stage presence and outstanding musicianship.

Richard Zellerís opera engagements have included 12 seasons at the Metropolitan Opera; in 2002-2003 he appeared at the Met in three new productions; as Ernesto in Belliniís Il Pirata with Renée Fleming; in the lead role of Eddie in William Bolcom's opera, A View from the Bridge, based on Arthur Miller's play; and as Chorebe in Berlioz's Les Troyens, conducted by Maestro James Levine. His other performances and assignments at the Met have included the title role in Verdiís Macbeth, the title role in Tchaikovskyís Eugene Onegin, Marcello in Pucciniís La Bohème, Barak in R. Straussí Die Frau ohne Schatten, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Don Carlo in Verdiís Ernani, Rangoni and Schelkalov in Mussorgskyís Boris Godunov in two different productions, Thoas in Gluckís Iphigenie en Tauride, Kothner in Wagnersís Die Meistersinger, Sprecher in Mozartís The Magic Flute, as well as performances of smaller roles in other operas including Giordanoís Andrea Chénier, Charles Gounodís Faust, and Verdiís Rigoletto.

Richard Zeller was featured in Scottish Opera's widely heralded, award-winning production of Macbeth directed by Luc Bondy at its Edinburgh Festival premiere in 1999-2000 and revival at the Vienna Festival. Other highlights of past seasons include performances in Chicago Lyric Operaís Boris Godunov and Andrea Chénier, Gluckís Alceste at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin and Gluckís Iphigenie en Tauride in Madrid. He has also sung the title role of Rigoletto in many venues including New York City Opera. Zeller also appeared as Athanaël in Massenet's Thaïs with the English National Opera at the Barbican in London and in the title role in Verdi's Macbeth with Opera de Bordeaux, Opera de Vichy and Portland Opera. Zeller has sung the role of Germont in Verdiís La Traviata with Hamburgische Staatsoper, San Diego Opera, Scottish Opera, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Portland Opera, and in many other opera and concert venues with orchestras in Europe and the USA. His frequently performed Verdi baritone roles include Falstaff, Rigoletto, Macbeth, Conte Di Luna, Amonasro, Rodrigo, Don Carlo, Renato, and Simon Boccanegra. He has appeared with many regional opera companies in the USA including the Chicago Lyric Opera, New York City Opera, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Cincinnati, San Diego, Portland, New Orleans, and New Jersey Opera companies.

Richard Zeller is highly regarded in the concert field and has sung with virtually all the major orchestras in the USA, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, and San Diego Symphony, to name a few. International orchestra credits include the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Vancouver Radio Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Ottowa Symphony, Nord Deutscher Rundfunk (Hannover), MDR Sinfonieorchester (Leipzig), Dresden Staatskapelle, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (Prague Autumn Festival), Tokyo Philharmonic, Cesky Krumlov Festival (Czech Republic), Korea Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Norway), Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo (in a command performance for Prince Rainier and Prince Albert of Monaco), as well as a performance for the Spanish Royal Family in Madrid with conductor Helmuth Rilling. He is celebrated for his interpretation of the title role in Felix Mendelssohnís Elijah which he has sung with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, and many others throughout the USA, Europe, and Asia, and he has given over 100 performances each of Orffís Carmina Burana, Beethovenís Ninth Symphony, and George Frideric Handelís Messiah.

Highlights of past seasons include appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of James Levine in Berliozís Les Troyens, and the title role in F. Mendelssohnís Elijah with both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia and in a nationwide radio broadcast with the Cleveland Orchestra as well as G.F. Handelís Messiah with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Richard Zeller was also featured in 2001 in a nationwide TV Broadcast of Live from Lincoln Center singing the Mozart Requiem with the Mostly Mozart Festival, conducted by Gerard Schwarz. His performances at New Yorkís Carnegie Hall include Orffís Carmina Burana, G.F. Handelís Messiah, Verdiís Requiem, Mozartís Requiem, Blochís Sacred Service, Catalaniís La Wally, and many others.

During 2008-2009 season, Richard Zeller returned to Scottish Opera to sing Germont in David McVicarís new production of La Traviata, a role he reprised with Portland Opera in the USA. He also performed the title role of Verdiís Falstaff in Portland at PSU Opera directed by Tito Capobianco and appeared at Lincoln Centerís Avery Fisher Hall with American Symphony Orchestra as the lead role of Signor Rivière in Luigi Dallapiccolaís opera Volo di notte and at Lincoln Center Jazz with Deborah Voigt and The Collegiate Chorale as Grand-Pretre/Hercule in Gluckís Alceste. Zellerís concert engagements during that season included Beethovenís 9th Symphony with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, and Spokane Symphony, and Carmina Burana with the Buffalo Philharmonic at Artpark.

Highlights of the current season (2009-2010) include J.S. Bach's B minor Mass (BWV 232) with Charlotte Symphony, a Carmina Burana wih Richmond Symphony, F. Mendelssohnís Elijah at Winter Park Festival, the Johannes Brahms Requiem with Portland Symphonic Choir and an Opera Gala in Lodz, Poland.

Richard Zellerís recordings include the critically acclaimed Merry Mount by Howard Hanson for Naxos, Deems Taylorís Peter Ibbettson with Naxos, and the world premiere of Henri Lazarof's Fifth Symphony on Centaur Records - all recorded with Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded Dvorak's Te Deum with Zdenec Macal and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra for Delos, and David Schiffís Gimpel the Fool for Naxos, as well as Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 for Centaur Records, and Virgil Thompson's Lord Byron and Aaron Copland's The Tender Land for Koch International.

Source: Thea Dispeker Artists Management Website (September 2009)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2010)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Dwight Oltman


BWV 21, BWV 172, BWV 245 [5th], BWV 248 [4th]

Links to other Sites

Richard Zeller, baritone (Dispeker)


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